An expletive directed to an "Arab" had been spray-painted on the building.
Police have determined that arsonists were behind a fire that destroyed a longtime convenience store in Blaine last month. Now they are looking into whether the fire at the Blaine Dairy should be classified as a hate crime.
"We have evidence that indicates that it's possible that is the case," Capt. Kerry Fenner of the Blaine police said Friday.
On Jan. 27, three men carrying a paper bag and glass bottles entered the store at 385 109th Av. NE. around 8:30 p.m. The suspects then lit the bottles and threw them inside the store. An expletive directed to an "Arab" was found spray-painted on the west wall of the building, a police report said.
The store's owner, who police believe is Muslim or of Arab descent, suffered minor burns and had cuts on his arms, police said.
The fire severely damaged the store, which has been "a fixture in the community for quite a long time," Fenner said. It's likely the store, which has sold dairy products and household items since the 1960s, is a total loss and might have to be torn down.
No arrests have been made.[Link]
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